When I was a yoof (that is a young person with immense amount of ‘swagger’ for those of you who are not down with the kids) I spent pretty much every school holiday sat in front of the TV watching films on the VCR player. Ok, when I wasn’t playing football or riding my red BMX that is. My brother and I would be entertained by the moving pictures across the incredibly large television set which could easily kill a young Black family if it ever fell on them. Was it a form of babysitting/child abuse/circus trickery… no. It was a way for my parents to get us to shut the hell up and quit bouncing off the walls from consuming way too many Panda Pops! However... I digress.
Movies back then were not all glitz and glamour or in fecking 3D. (seriously, enough of the shit 3D nonsense already) I completely overdosed on the likes of Karate Kid, Flight of the Navigator, Short Circuit, Teen Wolf and the Brat Pack. The VHS cassettes would get rinsed and the complete script would get burnt into my sub conscious to regurgitate out loud years later when they are re-run on Channel 5 on a Sunday afternoon. I spent much a happy day pretending I was Hoggle from Labyrinth as well as trying to turn my mum’s living room furniture into a Delorean time machine. Sweet times. There was nothing better than getting caught up in the fantasy, romance and action from 80s movies. Love love love.
However, you grow up and realise that some of the films you loved way back when, are actually…complete shite. You sit there screaming at the TV ‘that would never happen!’ or find yourself cringing at the shocking visual effects. I remember forcing my older bro into watching the BBC adaption of The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe as we both got all over excited recalling this to be absolutely epic when we were kids… but instead we both sat in silence too scared to admit that it was indeed crap, as if this admission will ruin the magic somehow. After the dodgy credits rolled at the end, I felt crushed like I had just witnessed Santa inappropriately touching the Tooth Fairy.
Granted some movies are so bad they are good. Like the cult classics of The Lost Boys, ET, The Goonies and Back to The Future (NOT Grease 2 no matter what my mentalist Irish buddies think and regardless if I know all the words to ‘Cooooool Rider!’ Grease 2 is still shit.) But have you ever felt yourself willing the old skool films you loved when you were little to still be amazing when you sit down as a twenty/thirty something big kid?
I guess a lot has to do with age (what was fabulous at 10 is not so amazing at 28) and the expectations we have of decent films today compared to the age old standard of movies from ‘back in the day’. I love my retro shit. Not because I think I am soooo cool and wear oversized prescription glasses and rock stupid hair(!) BUT I genuinely can’t get enough of old stuff. My room is still stacked with mountains of VHS tapes of which I refuse to convert to DVD, and there is nothing better than simple story telling with a happy ending all shot in 2D with a budget of about 72 pence. Old soul… old skool. They still don't make 'em like they used to!